VIDEO: Dustin Johnson's brother/caddie saves two strokes by jumping into water to recover ball

Austin Johnson getting in the work.

VIDEO: Dustin Johnson's brother/caddie saves two strokes by jumping into water to recover ball

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VIDEO: Dustin Johnson's brother/caddie saves two strokes by jumping into water to recover ball

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – It’s probably a heck of a time caddieing for your older brother on the PGA Tour. Especially when it’s for a player the caliber of Dustin Johnson, who has accrued more than $31 million in on-course earnings since joining the PGA Tour in 2008.

But you still have to put the work in.

Austin Johnson proved that on Friday. The younger brother and caddie for Dustin had a saving moment during the second round of The Players Championship. Dustin, who started on No. 10, found the very left side of the putting surface at the fourth hole at TPC Sawgrass’ Players Stadium Course. He got up to the green, marked his ball, went to toss it to Austin, but…

“Dustin went to throw it to me, and as he took his hand back, it kind of slipped out of his hand,” Austin said. “(And then) the ball just kind of bounced in (the water).”

It would just be a fun, simple flub, except for one thing: According to Rule 15-2, a substitute ball means a two-shot penalty. So if a player (or caddie) drops a ball into a hazard and is unable to fish it out to finish the hole with that same ball, he or she is penalized two strokes for putting a new ball into play.

With that potential punishment staring the duo in the face, Austin was commissioned to grab Dustin’s ball from the hazard. And Austin succeeded:

And did you notice something? He didn’t even remove his shoes. That’s dedication.

Well, OK. Austin clarified the reason.

“I looked down in the water and there were a lot of sharp shells and sticks and all kinds of stuff, and I didn’t want to cut my foot,” Austin said. “I can caddie with wet feet. I can’t caddie with a cut foot.”

Probably a smart move, considering that the caddie already is injured. Austin wears a cast on his right hand after he fractured the thumb 2 1/2 weeks ago playing basketball.

But the injured one pulled through. Austin said he noticed a couple of balls down there when he went in, and was lucky to pick up the right one. Well, his combination of action and good fortune saved the brothers two strokes.

Dustin would go on to putt for birdie with no penalty and finish the hole with a par. He ended the day at 4 under and sits tied for 48th.

If the ball-toss-in-the-water was Dustin’s fault, though, why was Austin the one fishing it out?

“He wasn’t going down in the water,” Austin said with a laugh.

– Kevin Casey

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